News about Tesla’s new solar roof has been heating up for some time. When the company’s owner, Elon Musk, originally revealed the glassy solar panels, they were called “extraordinary”, “stunning”, and “magnificent”.
While it was clear that the look of his panels revolutionized – and in many ways reinvented – what a roof could look like, especially a solar one, the unanswered question was: How well do they actually work?
Well just last week, it appears that Musk may have answered that question. Announcing via Twitter that orders would begin on May 10th, 2017, Musk followed that with another announcement that is sure to garner some attention – and perhaps amazement: The solar roofs will have an infinity warranty.
The words on Tesla’s website read: “Glass solar tiles are so durable they are warrantied for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.”
And while this warranty may sound absurd, Musk claimed to have tested the panels’ impact resistance, and that they outperform anything else on the market. However, the warranty might also make sense given Musk’s previous claims that the solar roofs would be cheaper than traditional roofs, which is important as the biggest barrier to solar roofing is cost.
While saving money and never again having to replace a roof sounds like a dream come true for most homeowners, buyers should beware of Musk’s claims that they can go off the grid. For one thing, some states, like Florida, are considered “tie-in” states where unplugging from the state’s utilities companies is not legal. But perhaps an even larger obstacle is that the integrated Powerwall battery that Musk touts may not be all it is cracked up to be. For one thing, a single battery costs around $14,000, and in order to fully power an average sized house, as many as four may be needed.
But we can’t say that Tesla, who acquired SolarCity in November of 2016, isn’t changing the game. More people are thinking about solar energy which is a good thing. More people are considering the option of going off the grid, which was unheard of only a few years ago. And studies by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and others suggest that 25 percent of the United States’ energy needs could be filled by rooftop solar installations alone.
Only time will tell if the new Tesla solar roof is everything it is promised to be. But for now, the very fact that Musk is aiming to make solar roofing competitive with traditional roofing – and perhaps even more competitive – is exciting news.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in hail damage, weatherization, and roofing restoration. ASAP has offices in Dallas, Denver, and Indianapolis.